When Hamlet exhorted Ophelia to “get thee to a nunn’ry” he probably didn’t have in mind somewhere like Chi Lin Nunnery and the adjacent Nan Lian garden.

Nan Lian garden isn’t old. It was only opened back in 2006, but it harks back to the style of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) with its trees, rocks, waterfalls and ponds

Conifers at Nan Lian garden

Palms at Nan Lian garden

and wooden structures (all backed by incongruous skyscrapers).

Pagoda at Nan Lian garden

The nunnery also isn’t old. It dates from 1934, but was completely rebuilt in the 1990s using Tang Dynasty techniques; it’s made completely of wood without any nails.

Chi Lin Nunnery

Behind the impressive front courtyard are smaller enclosed courtyards which provide a soothing retreat from the bustle of Hong Kong city life. A wonderful place. I surmise for a spiritual retreat, and my favourite amongst the sites I visited here.

[HK&M 5]

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